Alva to enter talks with county about new Senior Center
July 23, 2023
The Alva City Council voted to enter into negotiations with Woods County to build a Senior Citizens Center/Community Center on city property at 2nd and Choctaw Streets. The location is just east of the Alva Public Schools bus barn that was formerly a National Guard armory.
The current Senior Citizens Center building owned by the county is in a state of disrepair. Inspections to determine how to fix leaks in the roof found the roof was sagging under the weight of air conditioner units.
Woods County Commissioner John Smiley attended the city council meeting Monday night to answer questions. He said if at any time in the future the new senior center was no longer in use, the county would turn the building over to the city.
Daniel Winters made a motion, seconded by Sadie Bier, to approve entering into negotiations, and the motion carried.
Troy Brooks said he’d heard the county wanted to gift the city with the old Senior Citizens Center building on Barnes Street after the new building is completed. He said he was opposed to accepting that gift, and Winters agreed. Smiley said the county would demolish the old building down to the concrete slab before giving it to the city. There were some comments about the city having more property to maintain, but Bier pointed out the location is adjacent to the Alva Public Library so that might be useful.
On Monday, July 24, the Woods County Commissioners will meet with the topic on their agenda.
Economic Development Incentives
The council considered two applications for economic development incentive (EDI) grants. Funds for these grants are included in the city’s budget each year. The grants are for improving the appearance or signage of business buildings in Alva.
Summit Properties was approved for a $5,000 grant to repair the fascia on their building on the west side of the downtown square. The vote was 6-2 in favor with Brooks and Taylor Dowling voting no.
Value Added Products (VAP) applied for a $5,000 grant to repair the entry doors of G&G Home Furnishing which is in their building. The council voted to approve the grant by a 6-2 vote with Brooks and Dowling voting no.
Other Council Actions
Council action on a seasonal harvest wheat truck route and several items related to the airport are covered in separate stories.
Each year the council must approve a firm to handle the previous year’s audit. Monday night they approved HSPG and Associates to do the audit for FY22-23. This is the same firm who handled the audit for the previous year, and they are charging the same price.
The council approved the annual agreement with Woods County for E911 dispatching and administrative call services for $30,000 to be paid in monthly installments of $2,500.
The council was asked to approve the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the City of Alva Tourism Committee and the Alva Chamber of Commerce with an annual cost of $44,305. This money comes from the tourism tax funds and will be paid to the chamber on a quarterly basis. The MOU includes staffing of the tourism center, advertisements in several state tourism publications, updating of the VisitAlvaOK.org website, tourism brochures and social media updates. The MOU was approved 7-1 with Brooks abstaining.
Following a short executive session, the council returned to open session and approved a contract for FY23-24 with I.A.F.F. Local 3782, the firefighters’ union.
In the consent agenda, the council approved minutes of the June 15 special meeting, claims of $274,736.93, payroll expenses of $236,456.79, an ASAP Energy Inc. invoice of $35,154.81 (aviation fuel) and an OG&E Electric invoice for $54,609.15.
In his report from the finance committee meeting, Winters said the city finished the fiscal year on June 30 with a cash balance of $4.89 million with a big part of that increase being the $1 million matching donation for the swimming pool from Share Trust. Sales tax collections in June were $345,844 with use taxes of $35,572. This was down 3.45 percent from June of last year and down 10.74 percent from May of 2023. The city collected 97.97 percent of the anticipated budgeted sales tax during FY22-23. Winters said seven certificates of deposit are up for renewal this month. The city will be investing the additional $1 million in the pool donation account.
Brooks asked when council committee meetings were going to start up again. Mayor Kelly Parker said, “If we’re going to have committee meetings, they need to be productive. If the committee is going to make a recommendation to the city council, I think we come back and share the highlights of that committee meeting, what the recommendation was, and the council acts.” He said they don’t need to hold committee meetings simply to rehash what was talked about in council meetings.
During councilmember remarks, Bier asked about paving Locust Street. The surface was removed prior to paving almost a year ago, but it was determined that waterlines under the street need to be replaced first. Bier said she gets complaints of people speeding and that large rocks have washed into the street and ricochet when hit by cars. She asked about the possibility of placing some speed bumps.
City Business Manager Stephen Ford said he assumed the city could do that. He said once they get a DEQ permit, the city will address the waterline problem so they can get to the paving.
Joe Parsons commented that he’s heard from a lot of people who have used the Facebook complaint application and are happy with the result. To use this app, look for City Hall – Alva Oklahoma on Facebook. Then click on the blue Contact Us button.
Alva Utility Authority
After the council meeting adjourned, the same members met as the Alva Utility Authority. They approved the consent agenda consisting of minutes of the June 15 special meeting, claims of $251,748.91 and payroll expenses of $50,611.44.
Alva Economic Development Authority
The same trustees then met as the Alva Economic Development Authority (AEDA). The mayor actually switched up the agendas, recessing the city council and convening the AEDA to handle one item early. Dr. Kay Decker from the Alva Swimming Pool Committee and Courtney Nesseralla, director of Parks and Recreation, attended the meeting in case there were questions about submitting a grant application. The mayor moved up that agenda item so they didn’t have to stay for the entire meeting.
The trustees approved Resolution 2023-013 to file for The Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) Innovations in Built Environment Funding to rehabilitate the Bathhouse and associated amenities as part of the Alva Municipal Pool reconstruction project. The grant has a maximum award of $500,000 per year for two years. The AEDA will apply for that maximum for each of the two years. The due date for application is Sept. 1. Awards will be announced in November and funded in January 2024.
The AEDA trustees also discussed a resolution amending the FY22-23 budget for the scholarship fund. Sales tax received was higher than what was budgeted for the last fiscal year and expenditures were also greater than originally budgeted. The amendment is needed to finalize the fiscal year. Winters made a motion to approve the budget amendment, seconded by Bier. The motion passed 7-1 with Brooks voting no.